I use quite a few different techniques when I paint in encaustics, and have found a unique way to create urban landscapes. I start with beautifully hand made birch panels. And photographs I've taken in my travels are my references for drawings. I draw in pencil directly on the birch panels. With these urban landscapes sharp clean lines and accurate perspectives are important and I would lose them if I didn't have a drawing down first. I then paint on the beeswax and damar resin mixture in thin layers with no added pigment. Typically it's 6 or 8 layers. I like to work on three pieces at a time so that I'm not waiting around for layers to solidify, ready for the next layer to be added. I use painter's tape to mask off areas of my underdrawing and then layer on the colour! Usually 12 layers. The wax needs to be not quite set for me to pull up the painter's tape to reveal the sharp clean edge. Once this is allowed to harden another colour will go beside it. By laying on many layers I get a thickness that can later be carved away to reveal nice sharp lines.
I was asked by Durham Community Foundation to participate in a Chair Affair as part of the Odyssey Ball. Artists were invited to pick up a piece of broken furniture and transform it into a piece of art. They will be part of a live auction at the ball on Feb 2 2012. I went out to Mackie Moving where they had gathered broken or damaged furniture and invited eleven artists and designers to come pick out something to transform. I picked out a worn out bedroom chair. When I got it home I discovered that it was in terrible shape and required more than the quilted slipcover I had imagined. It needed new springs, foam and padding. I imagined it as an accent piece in a bedroom or foyer. I have many Mourning Doves in my garden and they have such lovely silhouettes. Mine sit in an arbour, but their shape is lovely on a wire. The doves are appliquéd onto the cream fabric and batting is added behind them using a trapunto technique to make them puff out. You may be able to see the trapunto effect on the seat in the turquoise fabric. Then I layered more batting and another layer of fabric and quilted each of the eight pieces. Andrew of Uxbridge Custom Upholstery took my pieces and did a fabulous job of rebuilding it. When it was done and I showed it to my friend Sue Carmichael at Quilters Cupboard in Uxbridge, she said it was calling out for a pillow! What a lovely added touch. I'll write a post about the new owner after the auction!